Wheal Prosper

Wheal Prosper is a lovely little engine house right on the coast at Rinsey Head. Unlike its name, this mine was fairly unsuccessful, opening in 1860 on the end of Trewevas’s sett, mining mostly tin and a little copper. It worked for six years, closing in 1866.


The only real prominent remaining feature is the 30-inch pumping engine on Engine shaft. It was built using local slate and granite, and when consolidated with local materials by the National Trust in 1970-71.


The engine house would have had a single boiler.


The only other engine house on the site was the combined whim and stamps engine. This housed a 20-inch rotative engine, also built in 1860, and drove 16 heads of stamps. Nothing of this remains today.


The adit comes out at the foot of the cliffs, which can be reached down the path to the beach.


The mine worked three shafts: Engine, Leeds and Mitchell.
Engine was 462-feet (140m) deep and worked by the pumping engine.
Leeds was vertical for 216-feet (65m) to adit level, then on for another 60-feet; this was originally drained by horse power before also being worked by the pumping engine.
Mitchell’s was worked by the whim/stamps engine and reached 70-fathoms (128m).


No outputs have been recorded for this mine.


The whole site is easily accessed along the coast path. The engine house has been consolidated and all of the shafts are capped/filled in.
There’s a moderate sized car park run by the National Trust that is free to use.



Brown, K. and Acton, B. (2007) Exploring Cornish Mines: Volume Two. 2nd edn. Truro: Landfall Publications.

Nance, D. and Brown, K. (2014) A complete guide to the engine houses of West Cornwall. Gloucestershire: Lightmoor Press.